Firstly, there are a few questions to ask yourself: Does your child breathe through their mouth while they sleep? Do you snore? If you answered yes to either of the previous questions, this blog post is for you.
Please note: Airway-Focused Orthodontics is offered for patients aged 8 years+ and often in conjunction with traditional orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign.
Symptoms of Airway Problems
The following symptoms are quite common in both adults and children suffering from airway problems. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you? If this is the case, airway-focused orthodontics may be an appropriate treatment for you or your loved one.
- Thumb sucking
- Dark circles under eyes ("panda" eyes)
- Mouth breathing
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Grinding and excessive teeth wear
These are just some of the signs of airway issues for both children and adults. If you or your child are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your orthodontist to learn more about airway-focused treatments.
How Airway-Focused Orthodontics Helps
Historically, dentistry and orthodontics have focused on dental health. This includes caring for and repairing teeth and their supporting structures. With the increase in the study of sleep and dental sleep medical practices, caring for the physiological function of patients' airways has become a higher priority.
This approach to treatment allows your dental health team to treat airway problems that otherwise may have been missed or only relieved temporarily. The shift in focus enables us to look beyond the teeth to the nose, throat, face, neck, tongue muscles, and the rest of the body.
Now, orthodontists are often able to do more than fix teeth. Specialists in this field strive to help restore your oral function and, in some cases, optimal airway health.
What are the benefits of Airway-Focused Orthodontics?
Treating airway issues and taking preventive measures early are critical to keeping ahead of health issues that may develop into much larger problems. By focusing on airway passages throughout your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontic team may be able to promote more effective breathing and reduce conditions like sleep apnea.